Champions League - Group A
FC Basel1Arsenal4

FC Basel 1-4 Arsenal

Lucas Perez scores
Lucas Perez had only scored two goals for Arsenal before his hat-trick in Basel

Arsenal finished top of Champions League Group A thanks to a Lucas Perez hat-trick in Basel and Paris St-Germain's draw with Ludogorets Razgrad.

PSG would have sealed top spot with victory, with anything less allowing in the Gunners, who took control through two Perez tap-ins.

Perez drove in his third from the edge of the box and Alex Iwobi rolled in a fourth before Seydou Doumbia cut through for a Basel consolation.

A 2-2 draw in Paris left Arsenal top of a group for the first time since 2011-12.

Arsene Wenger's side failed to make it past the last 16 that year, and have fallen at the first knockout stage in each of the past six seasons.

Aside from breaking their run of second-placed group finishes, the Gunners have also gone through a group stage unbeaten for the first time since they reached the final in 2005-06.

Champions League Group A table

Gunners' good fortune?

A 2-2 draw at home against PSG in November looked to have consigned Arsenal to second place and, in theory, a harder assignment in the last 16.

Their only hope of topping the group was help from Bulgarians Ludogorets, who twice led in Paris and, despite Angel di Maria's late equaliser, held on to seal a place in the Europa League.

As a result, Arsenal know they will avoid Barcelona and Monaco, who have knocked them out in the past two seasons respectively, as well as Atletico Madrid and Napoli in Monday's draw.

However, they will face one of:

  • Bayern Munich, their conquerors in 2013 and 2014
  • One of Borussia Dortmund or Real Madrid
  • Benfica
  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • One of Porto or FC Copenhagen
  • One of Juventus, Seville or Lyon

Perez proves a point

Lucas Perez second goal
Lucas Perez's second goal came at the end of a 33-pass move. No goal in the Champions League this season has involved more passes.

Spaniard Perez has struggled to make an impression since a £17m move from Deportivo La Coruna in August, making just one Premier League start and only finding the net with a double against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup.

Here he was twice in the right place at the right time, an empty net at his mercy first after Kieran Gibbs rolled the ball across goal, then when a Gibbs shot was parried, both strikes coming at the end of flowing passing moves.

Perez completed his hat-trick soon after half-time, surging towards the Basel goal and angling a finish past a weak attempt at a save from home goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

Arsenal were incisive and consistently dangerous on a freezing and misty night in Switzerland, with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil constantly linking - Sanchez's delightful pass finding Ozil, who fed Iwobi from the left for the fourth.

Champions League - who's going through?
Group A: PSG and Arsenal
Group B: Benfica and Napoli
Group C: Barcelona and Manchester City
Group D: Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich
Group E: Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen
Group F: Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
Group G: Leicester and one of Porto or FC Copenhagen
Group H: Juventus and one of Sevilla or Lyon
Ludogorets, Besiktas, Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Rostov have confirmed their places in the Europa League

Gibbs grabs his chance

Gibbs is another Arsenal player who has been short of opportunities this season, making only one start in the Premier League.

The England left-back was brilliant in Basel, not only having a hand in Perez's first two goals, but also winning the ball and playing a through pass for the third.

As Gibbs often took an advanced position, Basel did find some joy down the Arsenal right, with Renato Steffen cutting in to force a save from David Ospina and Matias Delgado heading over from inside the six-yard box.

The visitors' defence, including Rob Holding, was occasionally ragged, and when Holding lost out to Seydou Doumbia, the Ivorian wonderfully turned Laurent Koscielny for a consolation that Basel deserved.

Man of the match - Kieran Gibbs

Kieran Gibbs
Lucas Perez will take the headlines, and it is arguably odd to overlook him, but Kieran Gibbs was outstanding, having a hand in all three of the Spaniard's goals. Perez would not have had a hat-trick were it not for the work of the left-back.

'You feel a bit less guilty'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I thought Ludugorets were a good side - they made a great result that helps us top the group, which was what we wanted.

"We did the job in a convincing way, we were mobile and overall had a committed performance.

"It is difficult to know but you feel a bit less guilty if you have a bad draw [after finishing] first rather than second - we have done our job and let's see what happens.

"I think Perez took advantage of the fact we created good chances - he is a goalscorer you know. He has shown tonight he has a good smell for the goal."

What's next?

Arsenal will be seeded for Monday's last-16 draw, but before then host Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturdat. Basel go out of Europe, without even a place in the Europa League, but can console themselves with a 12-point lead in the Swiss top flight.

Line-ups

FC Basel

  • 1Vaclik
  • 5Lang
  • 17Suchy
  • 23BalantaBooked at 66mins
  • 3Traoré
  • 6Serey DiéSubstituted forZuffiat 74'minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 24ElyounoussiSubstituted forCallàat 59'minutes
  • 10DelgadoSubstituted forDoumbiaat 54'minutes
  • 11Steffen
  • 21Janko

Substitutes

  • 4Gaber
  • 7Zuffi
  • 8Bjarnason
  • 18Vailati
  • 26Høegh
  • 39Callà
  • 88Doumbia

Arsenal

  • 13Ospina
  • 5Gabriel
  • 16Holding
  • 6Koscielny
  • 3GibbsBooked at 36mins
  • 8RamseySubstituted forGiroudat 70'minutes
  • 29Xhaka
  • 9Pérez
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forWalcottat 74'minutes
  • 17Iwobi
  • 7SánchezSubstituted forElnenyat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Giroud
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 18Monreal
  • 20Mustafi
  • 33Cech
  • 35Elneny
Referee:
Jorge Sousa
Attendance:
36,000

Match Stats

Home TeamFC BaselAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home15
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, FC Basel 1, Arsenal 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, FC Basel 1, Arsenal 4.

Corner, FC Basel. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

Foul by Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal).

Seydou Doumbia (FC Basel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rob Holding (Arsenal).

Marc Janko (FC Basel) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Renato Steffen (FC Basel) because of an injury.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Marek Suchy.

Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rob Holding.

Corner, FC Basel. Conceded by Rob Holding.

Attempt blocked. Marc Janko (FC Basel) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Seydou Doumbia with a headed pass.

Attempt saved. Michael Lang (FC Basel) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luca Zuffi with a cross.

Corner, FC Basel. Conceded by Rob Holding.

Rob Holding (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Renato Steffen (FC Basel).

Goal!

Goal! FC Basel 1, Arsenal 4. Seydou Doumbia (FC Basel) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Janko.

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kieran Gibbs.

Attempt saved. Renato Steffen (FC Basel) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Seydou Doumbia.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Mesut Özil.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Basel. Luca Zuffi replaces Geoffroy Serey Dié.

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud replaces Aaron Ramsey.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Mohamed Elneny replaces Alexis Sánchez.

Attempt blocked. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.

Attempt saved. Rob Holding (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

Booking

Eder Balanta (FC Basel) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Eder Balanta (FC Basel).

Attempt missed. Taulant Xhaka (FC Basel) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Renato Steffen with a cross following a corner.

Corner, FC Basel. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

Attempt blocked. Marc Janko (FC Basel) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, FC Basel. Conceded by Aaron Ramsey.

Attempt saved. Marek Suchy (FC Basel) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Geoffroy Serey Dié.

Attempt missed. Geoffroy Serey Dié (FC Basel) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).

Marc Janko (FC Basel) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, FC Basel. Davide Callà replaces Mohammed Elyounoussi.

goal
Champions League - who's going through?
Group A:PSG and Arsenal
Group B:Benfica and Napoli
Group C:Barcelona and Manchester City
Group D:Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich
Group E:Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen
Group F:Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
Group G:Leicester and one of Porto or FC Copenhagen
Group H:Juventus and one of Sevilla or Lyon
Ludogorets, Besiktas, Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Rostov have confirmed their places in the Europa League

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal64201861214
2PSG6330137612
3Ludogorets6033615-93
4FC Basel6024312-92

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli6321118311
2Benfica6222101008
3Besiktas6141914-57
4Dynamo Kiev61238625

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona65012041615
2Man City6231121029
3B Mgladbach6123512-75
4Celtic6033516-113

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atl Madrid650172515
2Bayern Munich6402146812
3FC Rostov6123612-65
4PSV Eindhoven6024411-72

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Monaco532094511
2B Leverkusen51405417
3Tottenham511335-24
4CSKA Moscow503248-43

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund54101971213
2Real Madrid5320148611
3Sporting510457-23
4Legia Warsaw5014824-161

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester541071613
2FC Porto52214318
3FC Copenhagen51315236
4Club Brugge5005212-100

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Juventus532092711
2Sevilla531173410
3Lyon52125327
4Dinamo Zagreb5005013-130
View full Champions League tables

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